I spent an enjoyable morning yesterday watching birds along the lower Connecticut River in a few spots from Essex to Deep River. There was a lovely breeze bringing cool air off the water and keeping the mosquitoes at bay.
This Snowy Egret plodded back in forth in an inlet swamp, constantly poking into the undergrowth. I didn’t see the meal but there was some swallowing going on.
Undeterred by the breeze the Swallows were in nearly constant motion gathering bugs from the air, both over the water and a nearby cemetery. A hungry mouth alerted to an incoming parent.
The parents were harder to catch but they stopped long enough to drop off a snack.
This industrious fellow gathered and then dropped little bits of dried grass, over and over. I had looked away when he took off so don’t know if any of his efforts made it to his nest.
On a trip to the Connecticut shore last week we started at Harkness State Park. We almost skipped it because we hadn’t seen much activity the last time we were there. This day there was plenty of ruckus with six school buses of middle-schoolers on a field trip.
Walking away from that crowd down to the marsh I was rewarded with a glimpse of this colorful fellow, oblivious to the din from the picnic area..
Further along, there was this fleeting view. The underbrush there is dense, with new growth coming up through last year’s left overs. The park service mows a wide path which allows human visitors to avoid the prickers.
The marsh inlet was alive with activity: Geese, Mallards, an active Osprey nest, and an elusive green Heron.
A Snowy Egret gave a good show hunting for lunch, then we moved on to Rocky Neck State Park where the Egrets were even more plentiful and active.
In early May I had the opportunity to photograph a group of raptors that are cared for by Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation and Education. These particular birds are not candidates for release due to the nature of their injuries.
Click any photo to enlarge or see slide show.
It was a beautiful spring day and we were able to take advantage of the blossoming trees as backgrounds.
I can’t help myself: I keep taking pictures of birds that are high up in the sky. There are no reference points to give the photos balance and the birds are too far away to make great shots, but I still want to capture the majesty of a hawk or eagle in full flight.
Tonight the early evening sun gave me an opportunity as a hawk was flying lazy circles above our house. The sun was highlighting under his wings as he effortlessly glided over our neighborhood.
He came a little closer, but was obscured by a tree in our yard.
It was an enjoyable hour, watching a beautiful bird seemingly enjoy the air currents, probably looking for his dinner.
While waiting for him to circle back around a blue jay having a snack from the bird feeder obligingly provided me a shot on the ground.
The snow has mostly melted and there is water everywhere, from calm ponds to roiling streams. Yesterdays’s road trip started at Westfield Falls in Middletown, where the ascent was a bit dicey, to the view of the Arrigoni Bridge from Harbor Park, ending at a serene pond in the Cromwell Meadows Wildlife Management Area. We saw some wildlife in the Meadows, including a heron, a hawk and some song birds, but none were available for a photo shoot.